At one time or another, you’ve probably had the pleasure of sticking a spoon into a pint of Cherry Garcia ice cream. Or perhaps your preference was Chubby Hubby, or Chunky Monkey, or Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch. And what list would be complete without mentioning Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough? Hungry yet? Bet you are!
If you haven’t guessed it already, these are all flavors from the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Company, a staple of ice cream fans and fanatics for more than 20 years. The founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, built an iconic American company manufacturing quality ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet.
But co-founder Jerry Greenfield is also known for something other than his famous ice cream flavors: he’s one of the founders of the Special Kids Fund (SKF) - which provides access to adapted mobility vehicles for those in need through their MagicMobility Program.
Partnerships that Make It Work
Jerry Greenfield joined with another celebrity, Jason Alexander of the Seinfeld TV series to create this amazing organization. They work with a large network of dedicated Special Kids Fund partners and have helped to make this program an overwhelming success.
For those in need, the program really does work magic. Special Kids Fund was designed to collect donated accessible vans and transfer them to families who have an individual with disabilities. They also provide funding for families so they can purchase mobility vans, and also work with dealerships that refurbish older, higher-mileage vans for those in need.
One of their partners is NMEDA - the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association, a non-profit trade association dedicated to providing transportation options for people with disabilities. Their national network of members build and modify quality transportation vans, helping those with disabilities lead happy and more mobile lifestyles.
The Special Kids Fund also has a unique fundraising program called CharityChoice, which helps to increase both awareness and donations for the MagicMobility program. These include Charity Gift Cards and Donate Your Gift Card Balance programs. By building a national program for donations and requests for help, their wheelchair van assistance program is helping to change the world for a disabled child and his or her family. They also provide help for adults, elderly and disabled veterans, too.
There is also other assistance available to the disabled. For people around the world in need of wheelchairs, the Wheelchair Foundation is leading an international effort to provide one to every child, teen and adult who needs one but is unable to afford one. The Foundation distributes the wheelchairs to those in need through a network of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that have humanitarian relief missions in countries around the globe. Their efforts enable children to attend school, help adults get to work and allow seniors to once again participate in life and society. The Foundation’s goal is to distribute 1 million wheelchairs to those in need over the next 5 years.
Many states also have programs that provide assistance in funding and financing handicap vans. Social Security has resources available, and the VA offers veterans many different types of assistance programs.
With the help that’s available to kids and adults, there’s no reason that anyone should be denied the opportunity to be mobile. It makes for a much better quality of life!